Thursday's Scottish gossip

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Stuart McCall has agreed to become the manager of Rangers until the end of the season. (Various)

It comes 24 hours after interim manager Kenny McDowall admitted that the team might not finish in the promotion play-off places. (The Times)

McCall has 11 games to rescue Rangers' season and land the Ibrox manager's job for the long term. (The Sun)

Former Rangers striker Mark Hateley, a team-mate of McCall's in the 1990s, thinks the ex-Bradford City and Motherwell boss will be the Ibrox manager for a long time. (Daily Express)

Another of McCall's Ibrox team-mates, John Brown, says the combative midfielder was his choice for the role too, and he told Paul Murray, now a director, as much a few weeks ago. (Daily Record)

Keith Lasley, who was a key player for McCall when he was in charge at Fir Park, is concerned that his former boss could win promotion for Rangers at the Steelmen's expense. (Daily Record)

Failure to win promotion from the Scottish Championship will cost Rangers as much as £2m, claims football finance expert Neil Patey. (The Herald)

Ajax player Lucas Andersen vies for the ball with Dordrecht's William Troost-Ekong
William Troost-Ekong (right) is at Dordrecht on loan from Groningen

Rangers say the chairman of the club's football board, Sandy Easdale, has left Ibrox on "an amicable basis". (Various)

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright wants his players to use the recent victory over Celtic as a platform to secure a top-six finish in the Premiership. (Various)

With Celtic looking likely to cash in on Dutch centre-half Virgil van Dijk at the end of the season, they have placed Groningen's William Troost-Ekong on their shopping list as a replacement - Celtic paid Groningen £2.4m for Van Dijk in 2013. (Daily Record)

An ankle injury means midfielder Nir Bitton is a major doubt for Celtic ahead of the Scottish League Cup final against Dundee United on Sunday. (The Herald)

Bitton promises he will only declare he is fit enough to play if he is feeling 100% ready. (The Sun)

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes, who was judged to have fouled Dundee United's Aidan Connolly in the penalty box in their Scottish Cup match at Tannadice, is stunned that the Scottish Football Association did not take action against his opponent for diving, though he admits he would have gone down too. (The Sun)

Nir Bitton
Nir Bitton has been in good form for Celtic this season but may miss Sunday's League Cup final

Former Celtic goalscorer Frank McAvennie believes Dundee United do not have the firepower up front to trouble Celtic at the cup final at Hampden, unlike in the 1988 Scottish Cup final when United had Kevin Gallacher up front. (The Sun)

Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci will put his case to the SFA's disciplinary tribunal on Thursday that he should not be banned for two games for apparently kicking Celtic skipper Scott Brown on the head. (Daily Express)

Hamilton manager Martin Canning is sure it will be "a great boost" for Aldin-El Zubaidi to be called up to the Iraqi national team - he was born in Baghdad and moved to Scotland when he was three. (Daily Record)

OTHER GOSSIP

With 34-year-old Sean Lamont's knee injury ruling him out of the remainder of the Six Nations campaign, he faces a tough battle to add to his 93 caps and join Chris Paterson as the only players to make 100 Scotland appearances. (Daily Mail)

Scotland stand-off Finn Russell, who was serving a ban for making a mid-air challenge on Wales' Dan Biggar, reveals that he watched the agonising Six Nations defeat by Italy on TV at home. (The Scotsman)

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